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Old 08-11-2010, 05:27 AM
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400M Engine Masters Winner

I recently mentioned a 400M engine in another thread that did well in the Engine Masters Challenge.

Turns out, the winning 400M was built by John Kaase , a well known builder/tuner/innovator who knows his stuff.

Earlier, another member alluded to the fact that a winning engine from Kaase ran a Comp big thumper cam- this particular engine didn't, per se. Kaase is a several-time winner, perhaps in another Engine Masters competition a Comp thumper cam of some sort was used, this I don't know and have yet to look for.

But the over-the-counter big thumper cam specs pale in comparison to what Kaase used in THIS engine! It was a solid flat-tappet cam ground on an unusually narrow lobe separation angle of 98(!), and runs it advanced to 92 intake centerline.

More HERE, HERE, etc..

Another case of a silk purse evolving from a sow's ear. LOL

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Old 08-11-2010, 06:47 AM
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"Scoring for the Challenge is the sum of the average power and torque over an rpm range from 2,500 to 6,500 rpm, divided by the actual cubic inches, times a constant of 1,000."

Just so everyone knows- this engine was a built-for-the-purpose, one-off deal. Among other things, it sported:
  • The cam mentioned above.
  • 2.2:1 ratio rocker arms (that nearly caused the cam lobes to fail).
  • A "short" 5.965" rod length, w/a 2.350-inch compression height piston that used a low-drag ring package of .043"/.032" compression rings and a 3mm oil ring.
  • Used thin-wall cylinder sleeves, and a tall fill of Hard Blok filler in the water jackets.
  • Used CHI "Cleveland" style heads, CNC ported, w/10.5:1 compression.
  • Had an 1150 CFM Holley Dominator carb.

It made 515 lb-ft of torque right at 2,500 RPM. It peaked at 618 lb-ft.. Thats 1.54 lb-ft per cube, and made 654 horsepower at 6,200 RPM.

A 400 SBC was second.
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:46 AM
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I don't think any challenger in the EMC runs an off the shelf cam. Really, with so much on the line I don't think they would even consider it.

Kaase's engine was definitely unique.

Its a shame they added all of the new rules for this year.
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:34 AM
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I've just recently gotten interested enough to start looking into this competition a little bit. I still am not up to speed, so bear w/me if I'm sketchy on any details.

The fact that a 400M won is less surprising to me, than the parts that went into it. There's "FORD" on the valve covers (figuratively speaking) but it could just as easily be a Buick, AMC, MOPAR (LA, B or RB), Pontiac, etc., as far as the bore and stroke, rod length, intake type (dual plane), carbed (even though EFI is legal).

I don't believe that an EFI engine has ever won, though I didn't look very hard. But even things like getting an 1150 CFM Dominator to meter well on a 400 cid engine- all the way down to 2500 RPM- is quite notable, IMO. And not just able to run at 2500 RPM- but to make 515 ft/lbs, at 2500 RPM!

The bore and stroke and compression ratio is about the most "normal" specs in the engine. The basic block architecture is 400M, after all. But things like the cam timing is far different from anything normally seen. I'm going to say it has a lot of lift (2.2: 1 rockers, for crying out loud) and the Cleveland based heads obviously have been sorted out VERY well and the heads combined w/the intake and cam is what did the deed for Kaase.

But I'm thinking there ought to be some lesson to be learned vis--vis "traditional" cam specs (lift, phasing and timing) that could be used in ANY engine brand.

The Cleveland style heads no doubt played a BIG part as well, but again- the port flow and volume is within reach of other brand heads, I would think.

One thing is sure- those guys spent the necessary time and put in the hours to build that combination into a winner. I'm impressed, to say the least.
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
I've just recently gotten interested enough to start looking into this competition a little bit. I still am not up to speed, so bear w/me if I'm sketchy on any details.

The fact that a 400M won is less surprising to me, than the parts that went into it. There's "FORD" on the valve covers (figuratively speaking) but it could just as easily be a Buick, AMC, MOPAR (LA, B or RB), Pontiac, etc., as far as the bore and stroke, rod length, intake type (dual plane), carbed (even though EFI is legal).

I don't believe that an EFI engine has ever won, though I didn't look very hard. But even things like getting an 1150 CFM Dominator to meter well on a 400 cid engine- all the way down to 2500 RPM- is quite notable, IMO. And not just able to run at 2500 RPM- but to make 515 ft/lbs, at 2500 RPM!

The bore and stroke and compression ratio is about the most "normal" specs in the engine. The basic block architecture is 400M, after all. But things like the cam timing is far different from anything normally seen. I'm going to say it has a lot of lift (2.2: 1 rockers, for crying out loud) and the Cleveland based heads obviously have been sorted out VERY well and the heads combined w/the intake and cam is what did the deed for Kaase.

But I'm thinking there ought to be some lesson to be learned vis--vis "traditional" cam specs (lift, phasing and timing) that could be used in ANY engine brand.

The Cleveland style heads no doubt played a BIG part as well, but again- the port flow and volume is within reach of other brand heads, I would think.

One thing is sure- those guys spent the necessary time and put in the hours to build that combination into a winner. I'm impressed, to say the least.
No carbed engine has won yet- as a result carbed engines are facing severe handicaps this year. If this years winner isn't running a LS, Mod, or new hemi engine I'll be really surprised- with all the new rules and restrictions to be competitive they almost have to- its a real shame but its what happens when parts suppliers sponsor this competition- there's simply not a lot of money in 400M engines.
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbolover
No carbed engine has won yet- as a result carbed engines are facing severe handicaps this year. If this years winner isn't running a LS, Mod, or new hemi engine I'll be really surprised- with all the new rules and restrictions to be competitive they almost have to- its a real shame but its what happens when parts suppliers sponsor this competition- there's simply not a lot of money in 400M engines.
I read some of the Q&A's that were sent in- the question about EFI set-ups were in abundance- so I'm thinking you are right when you said the field has been slanted to favor that type induction, else I wouldn't expect to see so many EFI-related questions.

The LS seems like a natural, though. But in the last competition, the top three engines were all right at 400 cid, w/400M-based engines first and third! I believe they both had the Kaase-inspired CHI Cleveland type heads, too.

I know the FoMoCo guys must have been on cloud 9! But you hit the nail on the head- there's just no one building 400M engines. The whole 351C family in general is under represented on the street, IMO.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:33 AM
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yes i just watched a show on gears about him building a shot gun boss from 460 engine
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:51 AM
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I ran across another thread that said another builder had used some sort of Thumper-derived cam, not Kasse. I believe it was Joe Sherman who did this. Made good power using it.

Now, whether or not that has anything to do w/Comp sponsorship for Joe, I don't know. But he has been a proponent of these cams while many others have given them the thumbs-down.

I get the feeling Sherman could use the cam specs of a Briggs and Stratton lawn mower and make good power, but I digress. He is an extraordinary enginesmith, in any event.
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:44 PM
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A 302 chevy came in fifth! That's pretty cool...
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:30 PM
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cobalt,

Many good points in your Posts, and I've been following Kaase for a while-on that 400M (if memory serves), he had a bunch of old Nascar step Headers that he cut, tested and modified to fit this engine, and I believe that engine (correct me if I'm wrong here), has won two Years in a row (or was it two fo the last three EMC's)? At any rate, he's an engine God-did you see where he necked down one (!) Venturi in the Carb? Or the shear plates that he put under the Carb? He is serious about winning (they say he had tens of thousands of Dollars in R & D in that engine), and I believe that's why they changed the rules (as turbolover pointed out)-

I wish Kaase had been offering his "Boss 9" Engines back when I started my Car-I was at a Shop last Month where a guy had bought one and it was beautiful-look here: http://www.jonkaaseracingengines.com...1-engines.html

I recently saw Kaase's 400 on Ebay for SAle-it sold, but I'm not sure for how much. He says' he's going to build a Big Block Chevy this Year (obviously, being a Ford guy he's out to prove something to the EMC guys)-it will be fun to watch-
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:59 PM
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It wasn't until Kaase built this engine that I got curious about the Engine Masters deal. I had heard of it in passing, but really didn't appreciate the innovation that was going on- until the 400 Ford caught my attention.

I used to try to keep up w/David Widmer and his "soft heads" and such, at least as much as I was able through the mags- this was pre-computer for me, anyway. And all that was interesting, along w/some of his other ideas. But the 400M was real life and not just hypothetical- and it rocked! I'm still impressed w/the performance he got from that engine.

I hadn't known (until you just now said) about the one venturi different or the under-carb goings ons, but I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. The guy is on a different level, that's for sure.

I do recall reading that Kaase said that the cam alone was good, the intake alone was also good, ditto for the exhaust. But as a 'team', it all came together into a "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts "-type thing. A perfect storm, of sorts, that surprised a lot of people, I'm guessing. And I'm also guessing it sold for a pretty good amount!

The rules committee has said they plan to keep on mixing up the rules- for innovation's sake, they say. But regardless, I will be VERY interested in seeing how he does next year.

The Boss 9 is a work of art. I notice that he's not caught up in all the hype regarding long rods- his stroker rotators have rod/stroke ratios in the area of 1.5:1. Even the winning 400 had rods less than 6" long. So much for all that hype.

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Old 09-07-2010, 09:26 AM
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We as instructors got to sit through a class on MEC... It was so complicated... I mean MATH MATH MATH... I was like...
And I teach it for a living.....

SAM school of automotive machine... has been the only team to place two engine in the top five, and place in the top five for 5 years in a row. The engines that are building are specifically built to run at most 5 pulls. The competition is so tight that the last pull is done with 5-10 lbs of oil pressure trying to squeeeek out every last HP# Mains/rods/cam berrings are narrowed until they fail.. then a few thousands are added back in.. we are talking 1/4 berrings surfaces that accuall make contact with the crank/rods. The rings they run are about $4000.00 a set, VERY VERY NARROW.. and only one ring land... and no team in the top ten is running withought those rings. They bolt every exhaust system known to man on, flow.... react... and change Most grind their own cams, or to their specs... Carbs face a handicap cause they make more power then the EFI boys, and they were all complaining. So handicaps were put in place to even the field. Its the same in the racing classes... They give you weight handicaps if you run carb.... thats why SAM also has the worlds fastest naturally assp LS based camero. Any way their is so much stuff that goes into the Masters engine challenge that a normal run of the mill engine guy coulden't even afford to do it.
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:35 AM
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The rings they run are about $4000.00 a set, VERY VERY NARROW.. and only one ring land... and no team in the top ten is running withought those rings.
I think you accidentally put an extra zero in there...
Someone may run only one ring land, but most of them run shelf stock pistons with high end shelf stock rings. If you search around you can find tear down photos of several of the engines, and most of the builders from years past will freely offer their combos and pictures- most oof their secrets lie in heads, induction, and cam- just like any other engine.
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbolover
I think you accidentally put an extra zero in there...
Someone may run only one ring land, but most of them run shelf stock pistons with high end shelf stock rings. If you search around you can find tear down photos of several of the engines, and most of the builders from years past will freely offer their combos and pictures- most oof their secrets lie in heads, induction, and cam- just like any other engine.
If you built an engine as a complete copy of a EMC engine, it would be luck to last 30 minuets.

No there is no extra 0... I am sure im off some, but they are not a $400.00 off the shelf ring. The top guys in those divisions do not run stock shelf rings. Of the top ten 9 of them run those rings... I cant remember the name of them, but Ill find out. They may start out as sealed power, but go through calico coatings... awww I cant remember. Any way... The guys that lose and go home are using the stock off the shelf rings. Most secrets are... there are no secrets... these engines are built for the sole purpose of HP and TQ numbers. Jud Massingill "SAM" spent a ton of money testing and testing and testing...you get the point. They are lucky to get 5-7 pulls out of an assembled engine. Maybie 5-10 years ago they used a shelf type ring and piston, but not now. The key is not only heads...induction... cam... but they concentrate a TON on coeficient drag, Ultra low drag/rotating weight. Thats why they make 400lbs TQ at 2000rpm. Shoot KAASE ran a 1/2 thick headgasket.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:14 PM
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Gonna take some serious verification to get me to believe any part of a one ring piston- OR $4K/set rings.

Or 0.0005" head gaskets, for that matter- if that is what's meant by "1/2 thick".
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